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Open book: Copper Coast library never shuts

Regional News

South Australia’s first 24/7 library has been awarded for being accessible to its community outside of normal opening hours.

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The Copper Coast’s library in Kadina won the 2022 Jim Crawford Award for Innovation in Libraries at the 2022 Local Government Association’s Council Showcase dinner for its initiative to allow round-the-clock access to the library.

Since winning the award, Copper Coast Council Mayor, Roslyn Talbot said that she was very proud and honoured for their community.

“It’s very prestigious to win such an award, particularly for a regional council up against some really large metropolitan councils,” Talbot said.

“I think that in winning the award it has helped get the community to be aware of what we are offering at the library.

The Library and Tourism Coordinator for Copper Coast Council Lynn Spurling said the initiative allows the community to access the library at their convenience.

“The ‘Always Open’ project came about because we were looking at better ways of using such a valuable community resource and making it more available to our community to use,” Spurling said.

The idea came from when she attended a conference in Victoria, where one of the presentations was about the Foster Library introducing 24-hour access.

“It works much along the same lines as a gym, so people can use it whenever it’s convenient for them, not necessarily during normal business hours,” Spurling said.

“We saw it as an ideal opportunity to try something new.”

Library card holders are able to apply for an access fob to let them into the library and use its services whenever they need.

Spurling said the community has been very positive about the initiative since it began nearly six months ago.

“It’s been really well received by people who work and can’t get to use services in business hours themselves,” she said.

“It’s not just the borrowing, it’s also needing to use a computer, our WIFI, printing services, photocopying – it’s all available to use anytime.”

LGA President Mayor Angela Evans said the Kadina library stood out from other nominees with their 24/7 access.

“The Kadina project is a remarkable solution to meet community needs,” Evans said.

The Jim Crawford Award for Innovation in Libraries recognises individuals or groups that make a significant contribution to South Australia’s public libraries and innovation.

The award is presented every two years and includes a $10,000 prize.

Spurling said they will spend the winnings on further innovation to support the community and look into other areas of service delivery that they can improve on.

“So watch this space!” she said.

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